Baby boomers just might be the first generation to never truly retire. A recently released Merrill Lynch Retirement Study shows that an astounding 72% of 50-plus people say that they plan to remain in the workforce after they reach retirement age, and not simply postpone retirement.
What has caused this outlook, one that is so different from their parents' view of work? Reasons cited included the upheaval caused by the Great Recession, longer life spans, and the reduction in employer-based pensions.
A big factor is attitude: Boomers have a different mind-set when it comes to work and retirement. In fact, most respondents feel that, very soon, those that choose not to work after retirement will be in the minority. And, while some say that financial need is the motivating factor, 80% of those now pursuing a post-retirement work life are doing so because they want to.
Where are these retirees now working – and where will future retirees be able to find the kinds of jobs they crave? Here are a few cities where boomers are holding down lucrative jobs – and where the prospects for fulfilling work in the future are increasing, as well.
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has two cities in the top five when it comes to boomer employment, according to a recent analysis of job data by CareerBuilder/EMSI. Pittsburgh is No. 1, with nearly 18% of the workforce made up of the 50-plus crowd, while Philadelphia comes in at No. 4, with 16.3%. The study notes that Pittsburgh, for example, has more working boomers because of its still-active manufacturing sector.
Though this might make it sound like Pittsburgh's job offerings for older workers may not be growth-oriented, the city comes in at spot No. 9 for metros with job growth for the boomer generation, with a growth rate of 14%.
This northeast city also has a resilient manufacturing segment, and boomers make up 17.2% of Hartford's workforce. Another type of employment available in the city, known for its high concentration of insurers and other big financial entities, are business and finance occupations – an area in which boomers have increased their visibility over the past few years, even as millennials have withdrawn from that particular occupational sector.
Cities in Texas are just hankering for boomer-workers
As for job growth, the state of Texas can't be beat for the worker of a certain age. Houston boasts 23% job growth, while Austin isn't far behind at 22%. Dallas offers an 18% occupational growth rate, while San Antonio brings up the rear with 16%. Notably, Texas cities are among the highest in growth rates for millennials, too: 11% for Austin, for example, and 9% for Houston.
Unfortunately for some of the nation's youngest workers, overall job growth isn't very peppy. The study notes that, since 2007, boomers have enjoyed job growth of 9%, while millennials' job prospects have stagnated, with a lousy 0.3% rate of growth during the same time period. Worse still, the study excludes college-aged millennials who are less apt to be working, using the age cohort of 22-34 years – making the number look even grimmer.
For boomers, however, the jobs outlook is pretty bright – especially if you live near some of these cities that can't seem to get enough of the generation who loves to work.